Western NY Bell plant designated as historic site

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Associated Press

Posted on October 29, 2012 at 6:30 AM

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (AP) — The former Bell Aircraft plant in western New York that made the plane Chuck Yeager flew while breaking the sound barrier has received a special designation from a national aeronautics organization.

The Niagara Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/U8wQIT ) that the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has designated the Bell property in Wheatfield, outside Niagara Falls, as a "historic site."

Today, the sprawling Bell property is home to several manufacturers. But starting in the 1930s, it was at the forefront of the nation's aviation industry.

Bell's engineers designed and manufactured the Bell X-1, piloted by Maj. Gen. Chuck Yeager during his October 1947 flight that topped 800 mph. The Niagara County plant also built thousands of warplanes during World War II and produced key components of NASA's Apollo project in the 1960s.

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Information from: Niagara Gazette.

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